ISO 25639:2008 is the first International Standard for exhibitions, shows, fairs and conventions. It consists of two parts, respectively addressing exhibition terminology and statistical methods.

ISO 25639-1, Exhibitions, shows, fairs and conventions – Vocabulary, includes terms and definitions often used in the exhibition industry. It is intended to facilitate a common and universal interpretation of this terminology, facilitating understanding between, industry players. It is also intended to help improve professionalism and raise standards for the exhibition industry and to serve as a guideline for industry players to be more discerning with regard to the various statistical data released on exhibitions.

ISO 25639-1 groups terms into four categories:

  • individual and entity, which lists and classifies the various types of people involved in the exhibition industry
  • type of event
  • physical item, which describes the various components such as size of the exhibition, type of facility, associated print material etc. and
  • miscellaneous.

ISO 25639-2:2008, Exhibitions, shows, fairs and conventions — Measurement procedures for statistical purposes, provides standard measurement procedures to increase confidence in statistics related to exhibitions.

Stephen Tan, leader of the ISO project committee ISO/PC 237, Exhibition terminology, comments:"International consensus on the set of terminologies of ISO 25639:2008 will provide the common reference that enables a high level of transparency and professionalism in an increasingly global exhibition arena. Industry players, which include exhibition organizers, contractors, venue operators, freight forwarders and auditing firms, will be able to communicate consistently to all companies and corporations. This will facilitate the evaluation of statistical information and thereafter, the decision-making process."

ISO 25639-1:2008, Exhibitions, shows, fairs and conventions Vocabulary and ISO 25639-2:2008, Exhibitions, shows, fairs and conventions – Measurement procedures for statistical purposes, are available from ISO national member institutes (see the complete list with contact details). They may also be obtained directly from the ISO Central Secretariat, price 78 Swiss francs (part 1) and 48 Swiss francs (part 2), through the ISO Store or by contacting the Marketing & Communication department (see right-hand column).